Game Development with .NET

Abdullah Hamed

We’ve launched a new Game Development with .NET section on our site. It’s designed for current .NET developers to explore all the choices available to them when developing games. It’s also designed for new developers trying to learn how to use .NET by making games. We’ve also launched a new game development Learn portal for .NET filled with tutorials, videos, and documentation provided by Microsoft and others in the .NET game development community. Finally, we launched a step-by-step Unity get-started tutorial that will get you started with Unity and writing C# scripts for it in no time. We are excited to show you what .NET has to offer to you when making games. .NET is also part of Microsoft Game Stack, a comprehensive suite of tools and services just for game development.

A picture of a game controller

.NET for game developers

.NET is cross-platform. With .NET you can target over 25+ different platforms with a single code base. You can make games for, but not limited to, Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo, and mixed reality devices.

C# is the most popular programming language in game development. The wider .NET community is also big. There is no lack of expertise and support you can find from individuals and user groups, locally or online.

.NET does not just cover building your game. You can also use it to build your game’s website with ASP.NET, your mobile app using Xamarin, and even do remote rendering with Microsoft Azure. Your skills will transfer across the entire game development pipeline.

logos of some gaming platforms supported by .NET

Available game engines

The first step to developing games in .NET is to choose a game engine. You can think of engines as the frameworks and tools you use for developing your game. There are many game engines that use .NET and they differ widely. Some of the engines are commercial and some are completely royalty free and open source. I am excited to see some of them planning to adopt .NET 5 soon. Just choose the engine that better works for you and your game. Would you like to read a blog post to help you learn about .NET game engines, and which one would be best for you?

Online services for your game

If you’re building your game with .NET, then you have many choices on how to build your online game services. You can use ready-to-use services like Microsoft Azure PlayFab. You can also build from scratch on Microsoft Azure. .NET also runs on multiple operating systems, clouds, and services, it doesn’t limit you to use Microsoft’s platforms.

.NET has a rich set of tools

All the .NET tools you are used to also work when making games. Visual Studio is a great IDE that works with all .NET game engines on Windows and macOS. It provides word-class debugging, AI-assisted code completion, code refactoring, and cleanup. In addition, it provides real-time collaboration and productivity tools for remote work. GitHub also provides all your DevOps needs. Host and review code, manage projects, and build software alongside 50 million developers with GitHub.

An illustration of the person playing video games on a couch with a friend online

The ecosystem

The .NET game development ecosystem is rich. Some of the .NET game engines depend on foundational work done by the open-source community to create managed graphics APIs like SharpDX, SharpVulkan, Vulkan.NET, and Veldrid. Xamarin also enables using platform native features on iOS and Android. Beyond the .NET community, each game engine also has their own community and user groups you can join and interact with. .NET is an open-source platform with over 60,000+ contributors. It’s free and a solid stable base for all your current and future game development needs.

Learn more and start developing

Head to our new Game Development with .NET site to get an overview of what .NET provides for you when making games. If you never used Unity, get started with our step-by-step Unity get-started tutorial and script with C# as quick as possible. If you’re looking for tutorials, videos, and documentations to get your started, head to our new game development Learn portal for .NET for more resources.

Show us the work you do for .NET game development

We’d love to see the work you do for the .NET game developer. Please reach out to us if you’d like us to talk about the games you’re making, the APIs you’re developing, the plug-ins you’re distributing, or any .NET project remotely related to game development. Did you write a great blog post, or just read one? Do you want everyone to know about an amazing new .NET game development contribution or a useful plug-in or tool? Do you have an analysis of game development pipeline using .NET?

We’d love to hear from you, and feature your contributions on future posts:

  • Leave us a message in the comments section below
  • Send Abdullah (@indiesaudi) tips on Twitter about .NET game development.